After four days of waiting for the wind, the organisers made the decision to move to a new location for day 5 (Fri 2 Jan). It was a very brave decision that paid off. El Paraiso, 60 miles North of Ancon was indeed windy.

After a 6.30am start from home base at Ancon, competitors were met by an offshore 16 knot wind with flat water in the middle of the desert. We did four races at El Paraiso.

I found it difficult to get used to the shifty conditions at first and finished the first two races 5th and 2nd overall and 2nd Master in both. Riszard Pikul from Poland already beat me two years ago in Belgium also for the Youth and Masters.
It seemed he had retained his advantage.

In the third race, I finished about 5th overall but made sure I covered Riszard so I got 1st place in the Masters. In the fourth race, I finally found speed in stronger winds and led the whole fleet by a good margin. In the last downwind, I just left one of the Youths slip past by playing safe.

Richard Jones posted 8th, 8th, 9th, 9th in the Youths with a slighly unfortunate change up to 10.7 in the last race as the wind picked up.

Ian Jones got a respectable 7th and 10th in the Masters but afterwards, he decided the wind was too shifty and the sun a bit too strong. He went for the photographer’s option on the shore.


 Formula Windsurfing

A picture perfect day greeted the competitors of the 2009 Formula Windsurfing Oceanic and Australian Championships in Sydney, Australia today.

As the first Continental Championship event for Formula Windsurfing (FW) in 2009, Sydney lived up to expectations with a sunny, warm and windy day providing three races for the competitors.

With the first race kicking off at 1.45pm, there was already a cruisy 10-12 knot Easterly winds at Ramsgate Beach, Botany Bay (Sydney) at the race site and most of the fleet were out on the water early to get used to the conditions. Queenslander Sean O’Brien (AUS-120) enjoyed a great day taking 3 bullets from 3 starts on his 25th Birthday to lead the event on 2.25 points nearly 6 points clear of youngster Sam Fawkes (AUS-21) on 8 points and a returned to form Mike Nelson (AUS-12) on 12 points.

Our World Champion Allison Shreeve (AUS-911) took it up to the boys in every race today; finishing 4th in Race 3 which slots her into 5th overall on the first day. Sam Parker (AUS-3) had a disappointing end to the day after a great start following Sean into 2nd in the first race - but still has plenty of time to rise up the ladder and battle for the illustrious Australian FW Title. In the relatively newly established Formula Experience Plus (FE+) class, Bruce Healey (AUS-9) took all 3 bullets today and shows a strong chance of taking out the title.

Competitors from Greece, France, Ireland, Guernsey (UK) and Denmark arrived to take on a strong contingent of Australian sailors from all over the country. With winds hovering around 10-12 knots in the first two races and third race was started shortly after lunch which had to be abandoned after the wind cut out through the second lap. An hour or so on the beach and the wind returned, this time from the NE and with the experienced race-crew making a quick course change - the competitors were again out on the course for a re-run of Race 3 with winds increasing to 18 knots and the Botany Bay chop becoming a little problematic for some.


Oliver Schliemann

17 year old windsurfing prodigy, Oliver Tom Schliemann has signed his first professional contract with industry heavy weight, Starboard.

The German slalom specialist has had the support of Starboard thus far, but the brand have decided it’s time to develop their relationship with the young racer, with the signing of a professional contract.

Schliemann joins the huge Starboard dream team, which includes the likes of World Champions Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Kevin Pritchard.

For 2009 he’ll again be focusing on climbing the ranks of the PWA slalom discipline, in addition to competing on the Olympic class RS:X Youth World Championship.